Dental Protection and MDDUS comment on indemnity consultation
Commenting on yesterday’s announcement (6th December) by the Department of Health and Social Care that it is launching a consultation on the regulation of clinical negligence indemnity cover Raj Rattan, Dental Director at Dental Protection, said: “We are working with the Government on their proposal to regulate professional indemnity, contributing our knowledge and experience to ensure that members’ needs remain at the forefront of any decisions made.
“We are already exploring the best way to offer members an insurance product. So, should the Government decide all dentists and doctors need to hold a regulated policy of insurance for clinical negligence risks, we are confident we will be in a strong position to offer this as a benefit of membership to UK members.
“Any proposals to introduce regulation will be subject to public consultation and require legislation, so it will be some time before the details are agreed and any changes implemented.
“In the meantime it is business as usual at Dental Protection. As a mutual organisation, owned by and run purely for the benefit of members our priority is in serving the best interests of all members as we have done for the past 125 years and will continue to do so long into the future.”
Another missed opportunity says MDDUS
Following the announcement MDDUS chief executive Chris Kenny said: “This consultation is yet another missed opportunity to tackle the real issues that drive rising costs for healthcare professionals.
“Instead of supporting choice and proposing concrete actions on legal reform that would make a real difference, the Government is seeking to impose a cost increase on health professionals by moving to an insurance-based model that will attract a 12% insurance premium tax.
“Patients will not be better protected – the document acknowledges that there is no evidence of harm in the UK from the current discretionary model. Doctors and dentists will gain no benefit. The only winner is the Treasury with its additional 12% premium tax income.
“In short, there is little evidence to support the proposals, nor indeed that there is a real problem to be resolved other than increasing competition and transparency. There does need to be consistent financial data from all participants in the market and there’s a case for access to the Financial Ombudsman in the event of disputes. These disproportionate proposals totally miss these opportunities to make a real difference quickly.
“We can at least welcome the fact that Government is consulting properly on this issue in a way that it has not done elsewhere. We therefore urge clinicians, their representative bodies and the devolved administrations to follow MDDUS’ lead and respond strongly to Government to urge them to focus on where change is really needed.
“But we will not let this unnecessary distraction interfere with our vital work of supporting our members day in and day out. We are ready and able to continue to offer them excellent service and value for money no matter how this consultation ends.”